The House of Representatives recently approved the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act, a legislative response to the Biden administration’s tailpipe emissions regulations aimed at promoting electric vehicles (EVs). Garnering 221 votes in favor, the bill saw support from 216 Republicans and five Democrats.
Introduced by Republican Representatives Tim Walberg of Michigan and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, the CARS Act targets the EPA’s proposed emissions standards for gas-powered cars, which critics argue could limit consumer choice and push a substantial shift towards EVs. The bill seeks to prevent rules that mandate specific technologies or restrict new vehicle availability based on engine type.
Walberg praised the bill’s passage, criticizing the Biden administration’s approach as unrealistic and highlighting the importance of consumer choice in the automotive market. The proposed EPA regulations, if enacted, could lead to 67% of new car purchases being electric by 2032, a significant increase from current levels.
John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, has expressed concern that the stringent standards could raise vehicle costs and disadvantage portions of the U.S. population. Critics also argue that a rapid transition to EVs could increase reliance on Chinese-dominated battery supply chains, impacting U.S. energy security.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it has garnered bipartisan interest. However, the White House has indicated that President Biden would veto the bill if it reaches his desk, citing the importance of aggressive emissions standards for pollution reduction and public health. Despite this, the legislation marks a significant step in the ongoing debate over the future of automotive technology and environmental policy in the United States.